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Learn Primary English Grammar – Present Tense

Primary English Grammar (Present Tense)
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In this article, we will share basic English grammar for the primary school level. English grammar is important in many aspects when it comes to scoring well for examinations. The Singapore English syllabus focuses greatly on the usage of grammar through sections such as grammar MCQ, grammar cloze, comprehension, composition writing, etc.

By eliminating grammatical errors, the sentences will convey information from the reader to the writer effectively, aiding the reader’s understanding and comprehension. Sentences with good grammar will have clear communication. 

There are 4 types of the present tense – simple present, present continuous, present perfect, and present perfect continuous. 

We will cover the simple present and present continuous tenses in this article. 

Simple Present Tense

Construction: base form (with s added for the third person)

Passive: am/is/are + past participle

1) Talk about something that happens always, regularly, often, sometimes, or never:

  • We go to the supermarket once a week.
  • have to shower every morning.
  • The rubbish is collected twice a week.

2) State facts or say something you know about a person or thing:

  • Sally has two sisters.
  • The earth goes around the sun.
  • Pandas feed on bamboo shoots.
3) “Speech acts” – When you use a verb such as a promise or apologize, which represent the act itself:

  • promise to pay you back.
  • apologize for being late.
  • admit I was wrong.
4) Simple present of verbs to state your thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and so on:

  • believe your story.
  • know that’s the truth.
  • We understand your problem.
5) Express likes and dislikes:

  • love you.
  • Mum enjoys exploring new parts of the world.
  • Dad prefers cool weather.
6) Simple present tense of verbs of sensing or being sensed.

  • smell burning.
  • This tastes quite delicious.
  • Your hands feel cold. 
7) Talk about things that have been scheduled for the future:

  • We fly to London next Thursday.
  • The train departs in five minutes.
  • My sister starts her holiday job on Friday.
8) You + the simple present to give or ask for instructions:

  • You fill in this form
  • You click on Start
  • Where do we buy our rail tickets?
  • How do I start the washing machine?

Present Continuous Tense

Construction: am/is/are + present participle

Passive: am/is/are + being + past participle

1) Talk about activities in the present or things that are going on or happening now:

  • Where are you going now?
  • Are you listening to me?
  • It is raining!

2) Verbs that represent gradual change:

  • The children are growing so fast.
  • This situation is getting ridiculous.
3) Indicate repeated activity in the present by using forever or always with the present continuous; this is often an expression of exasperation:
  • The children are forever quarreling.
  • He’s always boasting about himself and his achievements.
4) Talk about things that have already been arranged or decided on for the future:
  • We are moving house in November.
  • am going to the dentist next week.
  • The new supermarket is opening on Friday.
5) Express firmness concerning the future:

  • am not taking any more insults from him!
  • We are sitting at this table till they bring us the correct bill.
6) Present continuous of go is used with a to-infinitive to express intentions and predictions:
  • Are you going to apply for the job?
  • These roadworks are going to cause long delays.

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